With the emergence of party politics in Hong Kong, discuss the place of political parties in the Hong Kong polity. Assess their prospective development both before and after 1997

Essay by tonymegUniversity, Bachelor's May 2004

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Political parties are usually defined as a body of people united for promoting interests on some particular principle by their joint endeavours and seeking to elect governmental office-holders under a given label which aim in prevailing over the others so as to get into or stay in power. With the increased government interventions in the socioeconomic spheres in 1970s, pressure groups were formed to articulate interests of different sectors in Hong Kong. These groups strove to participate actively in the political system in 1980s through the involvement in the representative institutions and discussions of Hong Kong's uncertain future; they intended to get away from the previous role of political commentary. Encouraged by the success in the 1991 and 1995 elections, they struggled to transform themselves into real parties. Political entities became an essential part of the political system. However, the situation reversed after the penetration of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) into Hong Kong politics which spent much effort to impose constraints on them.

In the entire part of the paper, we will take a look to the place of political parties in the Hong Kong polity and their development both before and after 1997.

In Western Europe such as Britain, political parties which gain most seats in the parliament can capture the government and govern the whole country. The leader of the dominant party will automatically become the Prime Minister who then acts as the spokesman and the authority of the country. The opposition parties will perform as a shadow cabinet that will closely monitor the performance of the ruling party. Back to Hong Kong, although political groups take the role of monitoring the government, they are not given the legitimacy to govern under the colonial and Special Administrative Region (SAR) Constitution. They can just capture public offices.